This Advent, with some others in church, I've been watching again the BBC's production of The Nativity. Tony Jordan, the producer brought lots of thought provoking nuances to this version, portraying Mary being treated as a whore, Joseph and her parents struggling to believe her story of an immaculate conception and the Wise Men as wily astrology enthusiasts led by Balthasar who recognises the import of this once in a life time opportunity.
It is a very earthy portrayal and speaks much more realistically into the politics and the culture of God's timing of the Incarnation and accentuates how much we in the church have sanitised what must have been a pretty scary series of events for all concerned.
What is clear is that it is not a sentimental drama for re-enactment by children as we have allowed it to become but, rather, a messy, risky affair. God living on the edge.